Greg’s 650b dropper Flaanimal 4.1

How much of a bike’s design and build spec is hype and how much of it is function? Those sorts of questions get discussed endlessly on the internet almost by default every time a new product or specification is launched. “Gravel” is a hot word these days. Is it marketing or is it popular because people are having fun? Is 1x hype? Is 650b hype? Are dropper posts on drop bar bikes an incredibly desperate attempt to sell people new gizmos they don’t need?

It is very personally important to me as the founder of Rodeo that our bikes be grounded in function, not hype. But I’ll never be an impartial voice in the matter because by nature I want to sell bikes therefore I may be biased towards sales and profit. That said I sleep great at night knowing that every bike we sell is built exactly for each customer and that we only recommend how to build our bikes after we’ve had a great conversation with each customer about how they want to ride their bike and what they want it to do. You build a great bike not by telling a customer what they need, you do it by listening to the customer describe who they are, how they ride, and what their goals are for their bike.

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Leadville 100 / Take Two

Leadville 100 Traildonkey

Writing the story of Rodeo is about writing a story of constant striving for new challenges and milestones. This year that striving took us back to the Leadville 100, this time with four Traildonkeys in the mix and ambitions to see how quickly we could complete the race aboard them. Taking a gravel bike to a mountain bike race is an arbitrary challenge on paper, but to us it is exactly the sort of challenge that we strive for on an existential level.

Photos by Brett Stakelin, Natalie Starr, Athlinks, and myself

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First build: Flaanimal 4.0 Chocolate Creamsicle Di2

When Jason in Philadelphia asked him to simply build him a well rounded Flaanimal and left the details up to us we knew immediately where we’d end up. We’re huge fans of Shimano Di2 1x setups even though Shimano themselves don’t really promote it in any way. R785 Di2 shifters driving an XT Di2 rear derailleur are flawless. Every shift just clicks on demand. The new Flaanimal 4.0 internal routing kept the build looking super clean as well.

The Praxis Zayante hollow forged crankset and forged 1x chainring functions perfectly with Shimano drivetrains and is one of the stiffest cranks on the market. Our Rodeo 2.0 carbon wheels combined with Schwalbe G-One 35mm tubeless tires keep the rotational weight very low and make the bike feel snappy and quick in all conditions. Ritchey WCS controls are the workhorse of all of our builds providing extremely dependable performance and low weight.

Special shout out to SloHi Bike Co. in Denver who do almost all of our complete builds. Their attention to detail is always incredible. Noticed how they heat shrinked the rear brake and Di2 lines together before they enter the down tube to keep the build clean and to keep the Di2 wire extra protected. It’s all about the details!

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Flaanimal 3.0 custom build gallery

Flaanimal 3.0 custom blue

This 3.0 frameset started life the same way all Flaanimals do: With a full dip of anti-rust coating inside and out. Instead of painting this frame after the dip we set it aside for a special project and its day finally came. We added a layer of matte clear coat over the ED to protect the coating then applied the blue graphics with custom cut vinyl decals. We also took the time to match our 2.0 carbon wheels, putting the decals into the debossed graphics that are molded into the surface of the rim. The end result is an incredibly unique look and build, and if the new owner ever gets bored with his colors he can completely redo the graphics with very little effort. How’s that for flexibility?

Rodeo Flaanimal 3.0 custom blue gravel adventure bike

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Better than shopping – The Black Friday Rally – GA edition

Black Friday Rodeo Rally

Hosted by: Rodeo Adventure Labs – https://www.rodeo-labs.com/

11/24/17 @ 8:30am

Start/Parking Location: Jake Mountain Parking Lot

Ride:

Black Friday Rodeo Rally welcomes you to ride 47.3 miles with us amid North Georgia’s Blue Ridge WMA dirt roads, forests, streams and mountains instead of hordes of pushy shoppers, fake mall Santa’s and cheeseballs and summer sausages. The route is a good mix of gravel/pave (70/30) ranging from flat and smooth to remote forest service roads. Oh, and don’t mind the little climbs up Nimblewill and Noontoola they will give you plenty of time to look within….

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World’s Worst Climb™

Shrine Mountain Road, Georgetown, CO

I’d heard of The World’s Worst Climb™ in passing comment and conversation.

There were rumors of a dirt switchbacking climb snaking up the near vertical mountain slopes that wall in the historic town of Georgetown, CO. Rumors they were though. Nobody I knew had ever done it. I think the first photo evidence of its existence may have come from Matt Deviney on Instagram. Or maybe it was a photo linked on Strava? I can’t remember.

Saxon Mountain Road, Georgetown, CO. The World's Worst Climb™

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Flaanimal is GO.

I’m not going to lie. It’s been a nail biter around the lab the last few weeks. Or if we’re really honest it’s been a nail biter since early January.

At the turn of the year we found ourselves waiting. The Lab was stocked with boxes of parts allocated to two new prototype framesets that were overdue. We nervously answered emails and tweets kindly requesting a status update on the project. We set up meetings with videographers anticipating the coming need to show what we’ve created. And still… we waited.

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Flaanimal 3.0 Adventure Bike. specification preview

Update: The Flaanimal is now live at www.rodeo-labs.com/flaanimal3

Flaanimals in Road Bike, Adventure Bike, and Trail Bike configurations

We promised we’d do this on January 31st, so it is time to spill the beans on the production spec Flaanimal 3.0 adaptable frameset.

Let’s start with an overview and recap. The Flaanimal adventure bike project has always been a bit of a younger sibling project to the Traildonkey. Insomuch as we never intended to release a carbon adventure bike, and then we did, we also never intended to release a steel adventure bike, but now we are.

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